British Columbians who don't provide proof of vaccination in businesses that require them may face hefty fines.
Provincial officials unveiled more details Tuesday about the vaccination certificates ahead of the Sept. 13 rollout, which will see most of the burden fall to private businesses to enforce the new program amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
As of Sept. 13, people aged 12 and older will be required to show proof of one dose of vaccine for entry to a broad range of discretionary events and businesses throughout the province.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters that a host of people including cannabis inspectors, health inspectors, community safety units, gaming investigators and bylaw officers may issue fines.
"If businesses are flouting the rules and putting people at risk, then there are implications for that," she said.
The order isn't focused on enforcement, noted Henry, but people and businesses can be issued violation tickets for non-compliance.
The fine for refusing to show proof of vaccination is up to $575 for individuals.
Currently, individuals at events may be issued a fine of up to $575 if they attend a non-compliant event or encourage other people to attend a non-compliant event. They may also be issued $230 violation tickets at events for the following:
- refusing to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave or disperse from the event
- engaging in abusive or belligerent behaviour in relation to the order
- failing to comply with an event condition such as dancing or congregating with others
At a restaurant or bar, individuals may be subject to a $230 violation ticket if they engage in abusive behaviour toward a restaurant or bar employee in relation to the PHO orders or if they fail to comply with the patron conditions set out in the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order.
If violation tickets do not act as a deterrent, or in cases of particularly egregious contraventions or for repeat offenders, police can recommend charges in relation to the offence. On conviction, judicial penalties of up to $10,000 and/or one year in prison may be imposed.
Find out more information about violation tickets for unsafe COVID-19 behaviour.
With files from Tyler Orton